SOURCE: National Safe Boating Council

National Safe Boating Council

November 10, 2009 08:00 ET

National Safe Boating Council and West Marine: 2009 'Be a Survivor: Wear It!' Contest Winner Announced

Survivor Story Stresses Importance of Always Wearing a Life Jacket

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) has officially announced the highly anticipated winning entry to this year's "Be a Survivor: Wear It!" Contest. The contest, first introduced in 2006, seeks testimonials from individuals that have been saved by their life jacket.

This year's winner is Brandon Duffey from DeWitt, Iowa. Brandon tells the story of a day of kayaking on the water that quickly turns to a tale of survival. Brandon was kayaking alone one afternoon when the weather got bad and capsized his kayak. The waves were over 3' high and the water was only 40° F. Because Brandon was wearing his life jacket, he was able to stay with his boat and call 911 from his cell phone. Without his life jacket, Brandon may have not been able to share his truly remarkable story.

"The National Safe Boating Council is happy that we could once again partner with West Marine® to recognize people out there that make the responsible decision to always wear their life jacket," remarks Virgil Chambers, Executive Director of the NSBC. "Each year, over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drown, and of those, ninety (90) percent are not wearing a life jacket. Brandon's story is an excellent example to others of how we can fight this sobering statistic."

Brandon will receive a $1,000 shopping spree courtesy of West Marine®, the world's largest boating supply and accessory store. This is the fourth year that the NSBC has partnered with West Marine for the "Be a Survivor!" contest.

"We commend this year's winner and are pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Brandon Duffey for his responsible boating efforts," comments Laurie Fried, Director of Community Relations for West Marine. "This contest, along with the efforts of the NSBC, are extremely important in promoting safer boating."

The winning story, as well as other entries submitted through the contest, have the opportunity to be published in a future version of NSBC's popular publication, Saved by the Jacket. Each year, the winner is chosen based on their "survivor's attitude" and their story illustrating the importance of always wearing a life jacket. Please visit to read this year's winning entry.

Contact Information

    Rachel Burkholder
    National Safe Boating Council
    Phone: (703) 361-4294
    E-Mail: Email Contact

    Laurie Fried
    West Marine
    Phone: (831) 761-6944
    E-Mail: Email Contact